Time for some updates!
Berlin was awesome. Our bus got in late on the 17th, and navigating the bus lines to our hostel was a little difficult. We knew ahead of time that the common area at our hostel was a bar, and upon arriving had to push through a huge crowd of people with our backpacks to get to reception. We checked in and went upstairs to find our beds. Our assigned bunks were in the last row of the room, giving us a kind of nook in the corner which was really great. The beds also had curtains, giving us tons of privacy.
Our roommates were a lot of fun (all Canadian and Australian), and had made friends earlier in their travels who were staying in the rooms next to us. They were definitely a party crew, and we felt like grandmas most of the time. But, we did go out with them twice. The first night, we arrived to them enjoying some absinthe, and they asked us to join them when they went out. It was already almost 11pm, so we joined them for some falafel and then headed back to sleep. They stayed out much later, and were so loud when they got home that someone from a home next door leaned out her window and poured a bucket of water on them. The second night, we joined them again and tried to go out to a club. We quickly learned that clubs do not let large groups in, even if they’re mostly girls. We ended up all splitting up and we spent the majority of the night with some new friends from California who were teaching English abroad.
Our days in Berlin were spent sightseeing. On day two, our roommates spent their morning mapping out a tour, and we tagged along. Our first stop was Berlin Cathedral. The cathedral itself was so beautiful and intricate. One of the features was a huge wooden hand carved pulpit. Then we moved on to a museum like feature that showed all the stages of building the cathedral, including a mock up of the incredibly intricate ceiling. Next, we checked out the crypts, which were a little eery. The final event was 267 stairs (don’t worry, I counted) up to a balcony that circled around the outside of the highest point of the cathedral. The view was absolutely amazing and totally worth the cardio and the small spaces leading up.
Next, we headed over to Checkpoint Charlie. It was interesting, but mostly just a tourist spot. There were a few areas with historical info, but the main event was just a photo op with men dressed as guards.
On our final day in Berlin, we visited the Berlin Wall. It was breathtaking and full of history. We made it there right around sunset and it just made it even more memorable, and we got tons of great photos. We balanced between feeling heartache and then joy for these liberated people while reading their stories.
After the wall, we headed over to Brandenburg Gate. When we got off the train, we saw tons of police, and were very hesitant but curious. When we approached, we asked a policeman what was going on and were told that “Putin may be staying at this hotel”. Because of all the blocked streets, we made a large loop and came across the main Berlin government building. It was beautiful, and we were given a brief history by a local man and met a group of his Syrian friends who were anxious to ask us about Trump. From there, we wandered around the corner and found the US Embassy and shared a patriotic moment.
After that, I grabbed a burrito from my new favorite spot, Dolores, and then joined Kenzie at Hofbräuhaus for some German food. By the way, in case you were wondering, vegetarian at a German restaurant pretty much means pretzels. But, it was a great pretzel, and the Germans seem to share my love of Rosé! We made friends at dinner and they invited us with them to the “discotech”. It was basically the same as a top 40 American club, and we left after about an hour to get some sleep.
We woke up yesterday and headed to the bus station to catch our bus to Munich. It was a much nicer bus than our trip to Berlin, and the internet worked! There were, however, two obnoxious teenage girls who didn’t seem to understand how ridiculously loud they were. Our trip was about an hour longer than anticipated due to rush hour traffic once we were in the city, but it was kind of nice to get a view of the city before getting off the bus. We found our hostel easily, and headed to reception for check in. At every hostel, they hand you a paper to fill out with all your info, including your home address. When we handed these over, the guy was flummoxed and explained that he is from Tigard, and graduated Tigard high school in 2007. Such a small world! We unpacked and headed to dinner at a tiny Italian restaurant. I had spaghetti and Kenz had penne with a spicy tomato sauce. So good!
I woke up sick this morning, with a bad head cold, body aches and a fever. I knew it would happen eventually with all the new people/germs, but that doesn’t make me any less mad. Kenzie is very quickly realizing I’m the worst patient ever. We went to the pharmacy, and after some decongestant, Advil and lots of water, I’m feeling quite a bit better. But, we’re now waiting for it to hit Kenz.
After the pharmacy, we made our way to Viktualienmarkt München, a great outdoor market where we had lunch and bought tons of fruit. I’m currently eating what they call Strawberry Grapes and they’re AMAZING.
We’re about to head out to dinner, and I promise I’ll be better about posting updates! It’s so much easier to post in the moment, but hard to find the time.
Ciao for now!